I’m getting a lot of questions about what’s going on with the market. And it’s a great question, with no one specific answer! The drastic increase in home prices we saw last year has had a great many impacts on the process of buying and selling, including the frequency of bidding wars and the amount of cash offers over the asking price. Though the high demand and low inventory remain heavily in play, the Massachusetts housing market is not expected to be as intense as last year’s.
If you’re a buyer, it’s important to note that interest rates are inching up, and they will probably continue to inch up this year. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now at 5.11%—the highest level since 2010. So what you could have afforded last fall or last summer is likely going to be different than what you can afford now. This means it is important to check in with your lender, get an updated preapproval, and know what you can afford. On a more positive note for buyers, the increase in interest rates has led to a decrease in homebuyer competition for the first time in six months. This will probably, in some cases, lower the amount of multiple offers and over asking bids we’ve been seeing.
According to Redfin, “The drop in homebuyer competition is one sign that the housing market is starting to slow down. Mortgage applications, home tours, and online housing searches are also declining, and more sellers are lowering their asking prices after putting their homes up for sale.”
Another trend I am seeing, which is good for you buyers, is an uptick in home inspections. I had a property in Salem a few weeks ago which got four offers; three of which had home inspections. Many people chose to waive home inspections in 2021 in order to get an upper hand in buying property, due to the immense competition they were facing from their fellow buyers. Getting a home inspection can protect a buyer not only from costly repairs, but from potentially major structural or safety issues hidden within a property. It is reassuring to see more home inspections being performed, as they can significantly benefit a prospective buyer. You can read more about the benefits of home inspections here.
If you are looking to sell, it is important to note that pricing is still very competitive. Though the large imbalance of supply versus demand is starting to improve, we still have a shortage of housing up here on the North Shore. If a house is being priced appropriately relative to the market, sellers are continuing to get plenty of appropriate offers, many of them over asking. But, just like I said for buyers, that trend may be coming to a slowdown as interest rates tick up. If you’ve been on the fence, this may be the year to strongly consider selling your home while the market is still strongly in your favor.
Massachusetts Housing Market- In Summary
Although these tips are based on research and my personal experience as a realtor, we don’t know what interest rates will be next year, and we don’t know how inflation is going to impact this market. It is impossible to predict the housing market’s future with 100% accuracy, so it’s most important to base your decisions on your own financial state and needs.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell, getting in contact with a professional is a great first step. Please reach out with any questions you may have on the housing market, I’m happy to answer them to the best of my ability.